News » Los Angeles Clippers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-30

Los Angeles Clippers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-30

Los Angeles Clippers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-30
--It was a return to Staples Center for former Clippers guard Shaun Livingston, who was signed late in the offseason by the Miami Heat. Had it not been for a catastrophic left knee injury suffered Feb. 26, 2007, Livingston most certainly would be the Clippers' starting point guard.

But that injury, which nearly ended his career, caused Livingston to miss the entire 2007-08 season. The Clippers reluctantly renounced their rights to Livingston last summer, and Miami signed him to a two-year contract. The decision made by the Heat was with understanding that the strength in Livingston's surgically repaired knee still was not equal to that of his right knee.

Livingston said at times he is frustrated at how long his rehabilitation has gone on. But he said it was a happy feeling when he was able to finally play again during the exhibition season. So far in the regular season, Livingston has played a total of 29 minutes in three games.

"Right now I'm about 80-85 percent," said Livingston, who was inactive for the game against his former teammates. "But I'm coming along."

Livingston said that if he were thrust into a regular role now, he would be fatigued by the third or fourth quarter.

Livingston said he has fond memories of his injury-laced career with the Clippers, and the Illinois native considers Los Angeles to be his second home. The house that Livingston bought when he was a Clipper is being rented by Clippers center Brian Skinner.

One major change in Livingston is that he has eschewed his braids look for a neatly cut shorter look. He opted for that change last August, when he was working out in Chicago.

--Despite their miserable start to the season, the Clippers maintain hope that there remains enough time for a turnaround. They have history that they can point to. Five other teams that began seasons with worse records than the Clippers' 2-13 start ended up making the playoffs. Those teams were:

2004-05 Chicago Bulls (1-14, ended up 47-35)

1996-97 Phoenix Suns (1-14, ended up 40-42)

1984-85 Cleveland Cavaliers (2-13, ended up 36-46)

1976-77 Chicago Bulls (2-13, ended up 44-38)

1967-68 Chicago Bulls (1-14, ended up 29-53)

Realistically, the Clippers can only focus on the '76-77 Bulls and '04-05 Bulls, because it is highly unlikely that a team from the Western Conference would qualify for the playoffs with a losing record. Such was not the case last season in the Eastern Conference, where the Atlanta Hawks nabbed the eighth and final seed with a 37-45 record. The Hawks then extended the Boston Celtics to a seven-game first-round series before being eliminated.

--An age-old adage in sports is that you have to win the close games to be successful. So far in games decided by six or fewer points, or in overtime, the Clippers are 1-5. Last season, they were 7-16 in those games. During the 2005-06 season, the most successful in Clippers' team history, they were 14-13 in those type of games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's hard to differentiate whether your body is just plain tired or if it's pain from an injury." -- Clippers C Chris Kaman, speaking about his foot injury.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2008


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